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biting the advertising bullet.

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by IMAGE, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. IMAGE

    IMAGE Sponsor
    Messages: 1,737

    Spent $150 today on some bold ads in the service directory section of the local paper. (2 ads with slightly different attention getters)

    Spending another $200 on another ad in the same paper that will start in a few days.(this ad has an extra picture with it). These are both for 30 days. (and plan on running them until end of jan.) Daily distribution of 30k papers in my service area, 50k on sundays.

    Getting an large (6" x 5") ad ready to run on the weather page of the paper that goes for $500/wk. I am only running this ad once, and will not insert it until the first real snow is forcasted.

    Also will be spending $90/wk for a listing on popular local weather page that gets 15,000 hits a month.

    Also spending another 80/mo for an online marketplace listing.

    And now for the hard decision, put $1000 into radio ads or $1000 into tv ads. Obviously I get more ads for my money with radio. Might do a mixture of each. Talking to both places tomorrow to figure it out.

    Also debating instead of radio/tv ad to do a one time "tab-on" sticker on the front page of the sunday paper that puts out almost 50k local copies(on a sunday), this would cost $2000.

    So basically spending 1000/mo plus the radio/tv/tab-on ads for the next couple months. All ads are targeting residentials and am looking to pick up 50-60 resi accounts. All ads have the same theme to them, so they all look familiar and help to make my business remembered (branding).

    I am pretty excited to do this, and hope for a good return of 50 accounts @ a flat monthly rate (my montly rate is $100-$130/mo for resi's X 5 months). I know I may not get that return, but it could be even more, who knows? lol.

    I am hoping I will just have to do this 1 yr, at a cost of about 5k, and after that hope to have mostly return customers and word of mouth advertising.

    Wish me luck :cry:
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2008
  2. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    good luck.!!:)
  3. dunlaps lawncare

    dunlaps lawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 111

  4. dirtmandan2

    dirtmandan2 Senior Member
    Messages: 274

    I have had very poor results in advertising for snowplowing, but in my neighborhood EVERYONE has a plow... I used to run ads in the local papers in the winter for plowing and found that the large accounts were already gone, but during a large snowfall it should get you a few drives.. I don't think you'll get your 5 k back out of it though, hopefully i'm wrong for your sake. Good luck w/ it though.
  5. IMAGE

    IMAGE Sponsor
    Messages: 1,737

    did you try radio or tv? I have 2 meetings monday with radio stations. and another with a tv station. had one meeting today and just tring to figure out the best way to flood the market and become a "known" name in week's time. might set up another website with a catchy name to say OVER AND OVER and be easy to remember. trying to cordinate everything for maximum effect.
  6. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 613

    I tried radio with no luck when I first started in business. You know, back before the internet really took off. Not even sure it existed to be honest. If you go radio, I think you would get the most bang for your buck in hosting/sponsering the weather. For example, "The weather tonight was brought to you by IMAGE" with a tag line like "Your local residential snow plowing blah blah blah". I think you would get better branding with the shorter, but repeated hits from the weather. How many of you don't listen to the radio even though it is one, yet turn up the volume and interrupt conversation to catch the forecast?

    I have also found word of mouth is the best on snow plowing. Letter your trucks, and maybe even target market a specific area you want to plow with flyers or door to door hand shaking. After all, wouldn't you rather knock out 8 driveways in one neighborhood than plow 10-12 with an extra 20 miles driving?
  7. dirtmandan2

    dirtmandan2 Senior Member
    Messages: 274

    Ive never tried radio... I may be wrong I don't know... But I think this late in the fall is too late for spending big money on advertising... I just can't see getting your money out of it doing some d.ways. and I would think that the good money comm. lots are already gone for the season... It may work for you but not a gamble I would take...
  8. dirtmandan2

    dirtmandan2 Senior Member
    Messages: 274

    I dont know what you do in the summer but if mowing or something similar you could contact all of your existing customers and offer the plowing...
  9. IMAGE

    IMAGE Sponsor
    Messages: 1,737

    this is all intown stuff, and I have places already from north to south, and east to west. looking to ad as absolutly many as I can because I want to have a couple hundred in a few years. The more I get, the more "closer" together they get.

    Comm lots are gone. The national ones anyways. But some of the smaller stuff is available. Just bid a church today. But I am not advertising towards commercial with this at all. It is all running a residential promo, and a good one at that, and most resi's think about snow right now and the next few weeks.

    Yep, mowing. I always contact my complete customer list, even customers I have only done a one time job for end up on the mailing list. I keep all info.

    I know its a gamble. but you cant win if you dont buy a ticket.
  10. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 613

    Man with a plan. Good luck. Hope it works out.
  11. IMAGE

    IMAGE Sponsor
    Messages: 1,737

    got 2 resi's in the last couple days off just the newspaper ad. Haven't even got the ball rolling yet.
  12. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 613

    Good for you! Hope it continues to be profitable.
  13. IMAGE

    IMAGE Sponsor
    Messages: 1,737

    Thanks, got 2 more today after I posted that! Only 46 more to go to meet my goal! Met with TV and Radio and got all the info today. Just sorting through it all tonight and trying to figure out the best bang for the buck.
  14. Grampa Plow

    Grampa Plow Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 274

    Good luck...spending that much at this time of year would take a real leap of faith for me. Let us know how this works out. I might look into it for next year. I have never hired a sub, but if all I have to do is a little advertising...it might be a way to make some extra $$!
  15. IMAGE

    IMAGE Sponsor
    Messages: 1,737

    Thanks Grampa!

    I got some proofs for the radio ad the other day. One is a little girl saying "mom its snowing...mom some guy is plowing the driveway...whats daddy gonna do"(paraphased) And then it cuts to an anouncer voice giving our info and current promo. Its a 30 second spot. Really catchy voice, but I asked them to make the wording a little better.

    The other proof I got was 2 guys talking, one refering us and mentioning our current promo to the other guy. It was 30 seconds also, I just asked them to change 2 lines in it. I'll get the new proofs monday or tuesday, and choose one to use. Should be on air by end of next week.

    I havent started the tv spot yet. I am doing it, but to get affordable time it is gonna be a spot during divorce court in the middle of the day. I'm hoping old ppl watch it??? Anyways its only $15 a 30sec spot compared to $80-170 during primetime. Maybe just run it 2x a week all winter? I havent really decided yet on it.

    The postcard proofs look good to. Should have them the end of the week. 10k to send out, gonna mail em about 2k at a time though and check response. Believe me I am sweating it, but I figured out how many new customers I need to make it worth it, and its a doable number.

    I will keep you guys posted for sure. I actually have one truck subbed out this winter, so that helps offset some cost and give me some breathing room.
  16. Grampa Plow

    Grampa Plow Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 274

    Image, you got more balls than I do!! But as they say "nothing ventured, nothing gained." I'd love to get a PM on how you do every so often...I'm serious about possibly doing it myself next year! Give it your best shot and good luck!
  17. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    First off, Good Luck.

    Second, it looks like you have given it alot of thought and have considered the pros and cons.

    Sponsoring the Weather never occured to me. What was said above about stopping a conversation to listen has to happen to everyone and not just people that rely on the weather.

    I did a radio spot this 4th of july to sponsor a program. Never got a call or a web page hit. Not to say radio doesn't work, just my results.

    I sent out 100 letters for snow plowing to a community by my house. Got 1 per time snow plowing, 1 seasonal snow & summer mow, & 1 call for a fence estimate. I followed it up with post cards and have not gotten anything from that. Hopefully it will snow within the next week or two and get people worried and call me.

    Again, GOOD LUCK
  18. lumps

    lumps Senior Member
    Messages: 365

    I advertise in a local paper in the service section, and have received almost all of my business this year from it. Definitely worth it, good luck!
  19. iceyman

    iceyman 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,521

    i would a bought another plow with 5g lol good luck keep this thread updated...
  20. IMAGE

    IMAGE Sponsor
    Messages: 1,737

    I am buying another plow... but financing it. I am paying cash for the advertising though.

    The radio spot should get visiters to my webpage. I have a easy to remember website. It's www.MYTOWNsnow.com . Insert my city there: >mytown<. I have a new webpage being designed this week to get up on there too. Right now its just a copy of my main website.

    I got a high impact sign up yesterday. One of those black billboards with neon letters. Its right on main ave.

    The ad in the service section of the paper has got me 5 new resi's in 9 days. One of those resi's asked me to bid a parking lot for the business she works at. Hoping the phone will ring more as it snows.

    Got a call to bid 12-15 apt buildings too, but they were a friend of a friend... all I did was give em some t-shirts and they love me. Hope they love me enough to accept my bid :)